Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

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narayan1121
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Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby narayan1121 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:12 am

I haven't been able to find anyone with a similar situation, so maybe this could help other people too:

I started college at 16, but wasn't mature enough to handle my newfound freedom, and earned a ~2.6 GPA after two years. At 18, my parents said they weren't going to pay for a sub-3.0 GPA anymore, so I had to go get a job. I finally went back to school last year at 25. My current GPA is 3.9, but my LSAC GPA is a 3.35.

My softs are: Executive Director for my city's chapter of a charity for homeless youth; and I serve on a county board that deals with juvenile crime prevention.

Does anyone have any idea how schools handle such a large gap (in both years and GPA), and how softs are viewed? I read everywhere about "upward trends" in GPA, but I haven't been able to find out anything concrete or specific. As for softs: I do a lot for my community, but it seems like most schools are interested in fame/notoriety when looking at softs.

I took the LSAT in October, so I haven't received my score yet, but I feel like my score will be within the 25/75 range of the 15-30th ranked schools (163-169). A 164/3.35 leaves me out of the top-20, but a 164/3.9 gets me considered practically everywhere but the top-5 (according to lawschoolpredictor).

Thoughts?

Thanks everyone.

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bk1
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:15 am

You're a 3.35. I would retake if you score sub-170.

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im_blue
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby im_blue » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:18 am

Law schools will look at your 3.35, so your best chances are splitter friendly schools like Emory (166) and WUSTL/Illinois/Minnesota (167).

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GATORTIM
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby GATORTIM » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:29 am

narayan1121 wrote:Time Gap

Image

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby TCScrutinizer » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:30 am

Law schools start out with an ideal class profile in mind, and attempt to build that class by offering money to the people at the top range, and picking people in the bottom range who for whatever reason show some promise. When you apply to a school below median, realize that for every 164/3.4 they admit, they're going to have to admit either one student with a 172/3.8 or two students at 172/3.0 and 164/3.9 in order to keep their numbers up.

You have a 3.35. An upward trend is really just a soft, and softs are likely to differentiate you from people with similar numbers, and not as likely to give you a bump over someone with better numbers, because the school has its profile to consider. The best thing you can do with strong softs (as I think you have) and not stellar numbers is to apply early. Your chances of getting into a good school will be far better if the school has the rest of the cycle to lure one of the dime a dozen morons like me that lucked their way to a 170+ or got their 4.0 from Southern Idaho Technical College. If your admissions materials are all collected, send them out as soon as you get your LSAT. If not, retake anything under 170 and reapply next cycle. That 3.9 tells me you could probably do better. ED your top choice and get all of your apps out early.

narayan1121
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby narayan1121 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks all for the input. I'm debating on whether or not I'll retake the LSAT in December. I only studied for about a month before the October LSAT, and I feel like with more practice I can improve my score. I don't know if I can wait until next cycle, as that would mean I'd have to try to find a job for a year in this terrible economy.

The general consensus seems to be that all the "upward trend" talk is BS, regardless of what the Dean interviews say on this website. Has anyone seen any actual info about upward trends? I've been unable to locate anything.

Clearly I should plan on the 3.35 counting, but hope that a few schools give me a little extra credit for the 3.9. I may just apply to the top 35 schools and see what happens.

Thanks again, and if anyone else has any input, I'd love to hear it.

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im_blue
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby im_blue » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:29 pm

narayan1121 wrote:The general consensus seems to be that all the "upward trend" talk is BS

Clearly I should plan on the 3.35 counting, but hope that a few schools give me a little extra credit for the 3.9. I may just apply to the top 35 schools and see what happens.

When deans talk about considering an "upward trend" they mean you'll be considered slightly better than another applicant with the same 3.35 GPA. No schools will "give you credit" for the 3.9 since they don't get to count that toward their class numbers.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:42 am

If you're still not done with your BA/BS you can stay another year in school and increase your GPA by taking easy classes.

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TCScrutinizer
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby TCScrutinizer » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:48 am

im_blue wrote:
narayan1121 wrote:The general consensus seems to be that all the "upward trend" talk is BS

Clearly I should plan on the 3.35 counting, but hope that a few schools give me a little extra credit for the 3.9. I may just apply to the top 35 schools and see what happens.

When deans talk about considering an "upward trend" they mean you'll be considered slightly better than another applicant with the same 3.35 GPA. No schools will "give you credit" for the 3.9 since they don't get to count that toward their class numbers.


Exactly. Think of your "upward trend" as a soft, like a awards or work experience.

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casper13
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Re: Non-Trad With Big GPA/Time Gap

Postby casper13 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:44 pm

Im kind of in the same boat as you but more time in between lousy GPA and current GPA. Talking with admissions people at law school forums they told me that they look at it different but that may just be the friendly adcom talk at a law school forum. Just like people say here the upward trend may help you some and maybe an addendum will help with the story a little.




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